Old school might be a tad misleading but it’s a term I’ll easily throw out for full effect when speaking of Missouri shredders Degrave and their fiery brand of thrash metal on the upcoming self-titled album Degrave. Remember the days of high top Reeboks and wickedly fast solos where it sounded like the two main concerns were how much speed one could muster and how efficient one could be while doing it? That’s the kind of old school I’m referring to. It’s a certain era of thrash that was glorious in its heyday and thanks to the current guard of bands reviving / refreshing this era and genre, it will live on indefinitely. Degrave offer up just enough nostalgia to turn many heads while being deadly serious about their craft and how it comes across to the listener — IDEAL thrash metal. Just ahead of Friday’s release date we had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions to find out a little more about these speed demons and what makes them tick. Read on to see what they had to say and be sure to grab your copy later this week.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
I started taking music seriously when I reached about 12 or 13. The guitar was a perfect catalyst for my teenage angst, and still is! Music just made the most sense, ya know? If I’m going to envelop my entire life into something, it’s gotta be worthwhile. So music it was. As for our level of success, I’m blown away by the reception we’ve got thus far! We’ve been playing gigs since mid 2016 and it’s been a wicked time. I love seeing people get moved by our music like we do. It’s fucking killer.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
I don’t know about debasing ourselves, but we once played a show in the basement of a sex shop (laughs)… and it was awesome!
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The great thing right now is all the fucking bands that are kicking ass! It may not seem apparent in the public eye, but metal is alive and thriving in the underground! AND IT WON’T STOP. Some of the worst things I see in the scene is bickering between bands, individuals or even styles of metal. Nobody cares about bitching. If you play it fast, and you play it loud, let’s put a goddamn show together.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Sometimes we like to dive into some current events in our songs. “Telegraft” for instance, is about media outlets brainwashing the public, and all that was written around the time of the most recent presidential election. “Hatriot” is another one kinda stemming from the same time. That one is more along the lines of just ending everything over there in D.C. (laughs) on a political level that is. Otherwise we write pretty introspectively.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
My dad was the one who got me into metal. One of my earliest memories is sitting in the carseat in the back of the car, jamming out to Black Label Society’s “Bleed For Me.” I must’ve been around 4 or 5 and I didn’t know the words, so I was doing the WOW sounds at the beginning of the song. I think that was their first indicator (laughs).
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Honest coverage man. That’s about all we can ask from you guys (laughs). If people are assholes, show everyone the asshole. If they’re cool, make sure all can see it.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Definitely world domination. That’s been the goal since day one, and will remain so until it happens. As for day jobs, we all have em and we all hate em. Mind numbing at it’s finest.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Right now I’m kinda hitting a Rush kick, so it’s been 2112 recently. But my favorite band of all time is Pantera. Any record is fine by me. Front to back. And you can’t forget Thin Lizzy! The Lizz is another any record, front to back band. I just picked up a Black Sabbath live record too called ‘Steel City Schizophrenia’ and it’s also been in rotation pretty heavily. I could probably go on all damn day.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
In the next 12 months you should be seeing us in the studio, writing the next album. We’ve got a couple songs getting pieced together right now, so I can only imagine what we’ll have going in the next year. And playing as many goddamn shows as we possibly can!
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Degrave for their time!